Why Your Blog Loses Readers (and What to Do About It)

Whether you blog about classic movies for money, or for fun, or some other reason you are obsessed with your website's statistics. You analyze them regularly. When you see "2 comments awaiting approval,"  your heart zings a little. You check the little graph which shows how many people have read your articles and you smile or frown with that little blue line. You never want your list of subscribers to dwindle, but sometimes it does.

Here's why you may have lost them.

You May Lose Readers When...

  1. ...you change the format or schedule on which they rely.
  2. ...you post too many or too few articles in a day.
  3. ...you use too many guest posts and not enough of your own.
  4. ...you say something controversial for your audience.
  5. ...your blog is filled with annoying advertisement.
  6. ...your blog is not mobile-friendly
  7. ...they feel under-appreciated.
  8. ...you present fluff

What to Do When You Lose Readers

Change causes everyone to pause and reassess the value of time spent, the worth of continuing, whether they are at the same level of interest or growth that they were when they started reading your blog. So if you change something, be aware that it's not just you shifting and adjusting, your readers are as well.

Would you like to restore the numbers you have lost? Perhaps even exceed them? Here are a few suggestions.
  1. Stay on a schedule that works for you. Once per week. Once per month. Daily. Whatever the schedule, stick to it. Readers are less likely to stray when they can rely on your regularity.
  2. Discover the perfect timing for your blog posts. It's a trial and error thing for everyone, depending on topic. However, in classic movies, publishing a blog post between once per day and once per month tends to work. Any more frequent and people become annoyed. Any less frequent and people wonder if you have died. (Death is a way of life for classic movie fans, after all.)
  3. Make sure guest posts do not overshadow your contribution. Many bloggers ask for others to write on their blog just to give themselves a breather and to give their readers expertise from someone else.  However, what makes your classic movie blog different from all the rest is YOU. The author of the blog attracts the reader, so keep yourself in there. The only time when you wouldn't consistently write for your blog  (other than death or prolonged illness) is if you are transitioning into a resource that lives on beyond you. In which case, be upfront with your readers about the changes a-coming and you will lose fewer of them.
  4. Only say something controversial when it is related to your topic, when you really believe what you are saying and you don't mind losing readers. There will be those who unsubscribe when you have an opinion contrary to popular thought. However, you might find that you will gain different readers as a result of your outspoken blog post. Controversy is one of the problems that classic movie blogs rarely have to deal with. Anyone who dislikes classic movies tends not to delve into them at all, leaving behind those of us who enjoy them.
  5. Replace your random ads with related ads of companies you have used. Most classic movie bloggers do not bother with advertisement, except when promoting their own services or books. Those who do latch on to programs like Google Adsense, and allow randomly selected ads to be placed on their blogs, might be distracting to the reader to the point of irritation. Instead, you might create sponsored posts - you agree to allow a company's logo to appear on a post in exchange for a set amount of money. Explain to your readers what this is and that your opinion of the film you are reviewing is not swayed by the sponsor.
  6. Go to the following post to make sure your blog is mobile-friendly: Is Your Classic Movie Blog Mobile-Friendly?
  7. Engage your reader. To make sure your reader understands that you appreciate him or her, feature a comment or question from your email or blog or social media platform (e.g. Facebook). If someone leaves a comment, respond to it. If you have such a large following that responding to all comments is not a wise use of your time, then respond to a few that stand out to you. People are here to interact with you and your thoughts. Be responsive. Plus, whatever question one reader has is bound to be a question that someone else has.
  8. Respect your reader by giving them the best information that you can. If the quality of your classic movie blog suffers when you post once per week, then post only every two weeks or once per month. Use that time to write the most outstanding, in-depth classic movie article that you can for that month.
  9. You can set up a subscription service (say, with Aweber or Mailchimp, independent of your blogging platform) that asks the person why they are unsubscribing. The information might help. All of that depends on how much you are willing to invest in your classic movie blog.
  10. Commiserate with other bloggers. Accept the loss, grieve if you have to, revamp and reassess what you want from the classic movie blog. There is a psychological toll on the author when someone leaves. It is rejection and we don't always know why the reader leaves. Gather with other bloggers in any number of Facebook groups (such as Blogging Boost or Daring Creative Workshop or the CMBA Private Screenings Room, if you are a member of the Classic Movie Blog Association) and get some great tips from them.

Ultimately, you should determine what you want to make of your classic movie blog - a resource guide, a community, a place to dump your thoughts, a record of  film history, a full-time job. Whatever it is you want, keep that idea in front of you constantly. It will get you through the ups and downs of blogging.

When do YOU lose interest in a blog? Comment below; let us know.

More Classic Movie Blog Tips can be found by clicking this sentence.


  1. I'm most likely to unfollow a blog that fills my reader with entries, although I may still stop in and check on posts that interest me from time to time. Frequent spelling errors, poor research, or inattention to grammar may drive me away as well.

    1. Thank you, centuryfilmproject. Your sentiments on the issue are a frequent concern for many readers of certain blogs. It's great to have feedback.

  2. As a fellow classic film blogger, I enjoy reading your posts. They are always informative and very interesting to read. Keep up the great work.

    While I'm here, I would also like to invite you to participate in my upcoming blogathon in August. The link is below with more details


  3. Java, another reason is that someone may be ripping off your posts or entire blog. There are few apps that allow you to check for this.

    1. Ah, yes, Rick! There is no real recourse for the theft of a blog, is there? Except to threaten with legal action, ensuring your DMCA rights. Google is slow off the jump with that for us on Blogger.com

      - Java/ Deborah

  4. Java, your article is exactly what I have been thinking of lately with regard to my own blog. I have been really sick for one reason or the other for about the last year and a half. I have had a hard time keeping my blog up, and I'm sure some of the CMBA people have just given up on me. I want to get back to my old rate of about 2 per moth, 3 if I'm particularly inspired. I just wonder if people will even know that and return to ClassicBecky's Brain Food. You have made some wonderful points, and I am certainly taking them seriously. Rick, our Fearless Leader Emeritus, has encouraged me to pick a schedule, keep a little backlog of articles to post when I'm not feeling well -- I have not taken that great advice, not because it's not great advice, but because of the life situations. Now I am commenting on our Facebook page and visiting my favorite blogs to get back into the swing. Thanks so much for this inspiring and helpful article!

    1. ClassicBecky,

      Consistency is a key to it all... and patience. You're starting off again better than any newbie since you already have an archives and a group to back you up.

      You know another thing you can do? Raid your archives for new material.

      So often our posts are seen only when they are on the front page and never again. The following suggestions might help you to keep people on your blog longer and dust off some of your best stuff.

      1. Place a "Related Posts" widget on your blog so that at the end of every post other ones are automatically suggested. Your reader will stick around longer, delving through your archives.

      My current related posts widget is built into my new template, but I have also used free widgets like LinkWithin. http://www.linkwithin.com/learn

      2. Spruce up some of your old posts and republish them with a new note at the top saying what you're doing.

      I've done this especially for my holiday posts where I list a number of movies that people can watch for, say St. Patrick's Day. The holiday always rolls around, so I add to the old post and make a note up top about my annual list.

      3. Make a link post. Choose a theme and pick your best posts for that theme from your archives. This is basically doing something similar as the LinkWithin widget, but it is carefully curated by you.

      These are things you can do right quick using what you already have.

      Hope that helps.


    2. Does that help?! I cannot thank you enough for these wonderful suggestions. I'm not really computer-savvy at all, and I never even thought of these things! I'm off to begin making these a part of my blog!


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About Java

"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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